Seems that Clem Salvadori’s columns are always so timely that his current subject matches what’s going on in my motorcycle life at the time. I always want to respond but never have until now. The day of my return from Bigfork, Montana, to Monterey, California, Rider was in my mailbox and I immediately read “How Many Motorcycles are Too Many?”. I had just arrived on my newly purchased 2012 Harley—the same modeI as my 2010 and 2013. Now I have three of the same but different color combinations. The Motor Company made these excellent Ultra Limiteds from 2010 through 2013 with the 103 ci motor, so I just had to have one more! I’m a long-distance solo rider and these models serve me well. I guess I’m a nut of a different sort. If I’m lucky enough I’ll also find a 2011 of the same model, different color—then I’ll have one of each year. Total bikes in my garage now: five. Thanks for sharing, Clem!
Bob Lawson, Monterey, California
Some years ago, I parked my bike on its center stand, parallel to traffic, on a highly crowned road. Later, when I wanted to leave, I rolled the bike off the center stand, but since it was already “slanted” when the wheels touched down, it kept going down on the low side. The bike wound up landing on my foot, breaking four bones. I have never fully recovered. The lesson is to never park on the center stand parallel to traffic on a crowned road.
I call this my crowning deficiency.
Randy, via email
Your latest issue (Oct 2018) just gave me the kick-start I needed to get riding again. Each column, review and touring article was a great motivator after a frustrating summer consumed with looking after my elderly mother who, approaching 95, was on the decline. My 2002 Suzuki Intruder 800 sat neglected under a tarp throughout some good summer riding months while I drove a four-wheeler with supplies to the rehab wing of her retirement center daily, trying to be an upbeat cheerleader. I just did not feel like riding. I think other aging baby boomers like me can relate to this particular rite of passage.
Two weeks ago, she decided it was time to reunite with her husband, our Dad, who was buried at Arlington three years ago. We will miss her, but I think she is now looking down and telling me to get riding again, so we can both be happy. Your magazine has helped me do just that.
Karl Kunkel, High Point, North Carolina
I’m a big fan of Rider and look forward to each issue. I was especially interested in the article “Full Circle: Reflections on the Moonshine Lunch Run” in the Riding Around section of the October issue. I’m proud to say that I was one of those that made the trek to Casey, Illinois, in 2012, traveling almost 2,200 miles on my 2007 ST1300 from Fremont, California, and I was awarded third place in the longest distance covered at the evening dinner at Richard’s Farm Restaurant. It was almost a rite of passage among the long distance riders to say, “I’ve been to Moonshine.”
I camped out at the Hammond farm along with about a hundred fellow riders. Needless to say, the weather wasn’t the best with intermittent rain and cold temperatures at night. The Hammond family was kind enough to have a cord of wood brought in for the evening campfires and it was much appreciated. During the day some made the pilgrimage out to Terry’s gravesite, where he was buried on the farm he so loved. By Saturday morning we were all ready for our Moonburger. The weather kept the attendance down a bit, and if I remember correctly, about 1,300 were served.
Edgar Matlock, Dayton, Nevada
I am sorry to read that the Moonshine Lunch Run is ending. I have been to the Moonshine many times, but never on the Lunch Run. Living only 70 miles away I would have felt like a poser. One question: was this the same writer that wrote about the Lunch Run several years back? In that article I enjoyed the response he gave to a woman who asked him while at a fuel stop in Massachusetts where he was headed. His reply was to get a hamburger in Illinois. Classic!
Joe Marriott, Saint Joseph, Illinois
I read every issue virtually cover-to-cover as Rideris my favorite magazine. While a big BMW is not in my future, I was surprised to see that the new Grand America was governed to 101 mph. There are many places where speeds in excess of 101, while not encouraged, are not unusual. What a shame to have 1,649cc limited that much.
Tony Yeley, Mountain Iron, Minnesota
Hats off to Clement Salvadori for hitting the nail square on the head. As the current owner of five functioning and registered bikes, I can attest that Clement perfectly expressed what I feel about my collection. I don’t love a particular brand of motorcycle, I love motorcycles. It would feel so limiting to just own one bike. Of the 11 bikes I have owned in my 51 years of riding, only one (1977 Suzuki TS185) was purchased new. My current stable covers a wide range of riding styles: a 2009 Yamaha R6 (other than electronics and graphics, the same as the current model), a 2008 Ducati Hypermotard (more fun than a barrel of monkeys), a 2007 Triumph Bonneville T100 (all my mods have been to make it look even more like it came from 1967), a 2002 Harley 883 Sportster (destined for a 1250 kit) and a 1997 BMW R850R (one of BMW’s best and little-known masterpieces). Yes, motorcycling is something of a drug addiction but only in a good way.
Rick Averill, via email
Isn’t it amazing how different the “DKW” shown in the October Retrospective looks from the DKW shown in the September issue? Even though they were both made during the same span, 1949-1957. Not sure what I’m referring to? In the October issue’s Table of Contents, Retrospective is listed as featuring a DKW RT125. Actually you feature a Vincent Rapide in an Egli frame.
Were you just checking to see if any of us readers were paying attention? Thanks for keeping us on our toes!
Ken Jones, Oakdale, California
It seems Mr. S. and I began riding about the same time, and may have exchanged waves on Boston area pavement in the early sixties, for all I know. So we’ve both owned and ridden literally scores of bikes and, as his most recent column suggests, have had to address the question of how many is too many to own at one time. Like Clement, I have acquaintances that own so many bikes (and parts of bikes) that they lose count and can’t answer when asked the question. Tired of trying to keep my meager current “collection” of three bikes in A-1 ready-to-go running order, I recently donated my oldest, a relatively rare 1983 model, to an eminent motorcycle museum. I do not choose to name said museum only because there are several worthy collections held in other museums throughout North America, and all probably consider donations. I suggest you include an article on the donation process in a future issue. Given changes in tax laws, I likely cannot benefit in the form of a tax deduction but your mileage may vary, as they say. Plus I have the satisfaction of knowing that a “special interest” bike I once owned will not be trashed, neglected or even just out of sight in the years to come.
Pat Halstead, via email
Enjoyable as always, but to answer the question Clem posed at the close regarding, I believe Einstein covered that for us. I may not be the math whiz others are, but I always felt that E=mc² works out as: enough (E) motorcycles equals the square (²) of the number of motorcycle (mc) riders in the home. However if we apply the inverse cosine of the Duhamel Theorem, the answer is always: “One more than you currently have.”
Benjamin Getz, Moses Lake, Washington
As a smaller rider (5-feet, 5-inches) I have been looking for a lightweight sport-touring bike. I saw on the cover of my latest (October) Rider magazine “Light Sport-Touring Triple” and flipped immediately to the article on the Yamaha Tracer 900 GT. As usual I scanned the specs section to find the seat height: 33.5 inches! Seriously? I know I am not the only small rider out here. Who do the manufacturers think are looking at smaller displacement bikes? So why not offer bikes with a 30- to 31-inch seat height? I did notice that the BMW K 1600 Grand America has a 30.7-inch seat but I am not interested in an 800-lb bike either. I currently ride a 1985 Yamaha Vmax that I bought new and installed shorter rear shocks. Guess I will continue to throw the saddlebags on and use it as my sport-touring bike until the manufacturers figure out that everyone is not 6 feet tall.
Robert Copeland, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee
As a former TV news reporter, I’ve covered too many accidents resulting in death or long term injuries so easily prevented with a helmet. I have eight helmets hanging in my garage. One is burned and the others broken. I shudder at the thought of the damage had I not been wearing them. I always thought the only thing dumber than a helmet law is not wearing one.
Keith Ingram, via email
I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV but I am an advocate of AATGATT. AA…? Yes, Almost All The Gear All The Time. When we trade four wheels for two, we assume a certain amount of additional risk. And so when I choose to wear jeans instead of my ‘stich pants or low cut shoes rather than over-the-ankle boots, I knowingly assume additional risk. And though I’ve ridden in all 49 continental states, my three incidents of note came within 100 miles of home each time (the deer strike was less than 10). Also, my choice of bike influences my choice of gear The Vespa means half helmet and low shoes, the FJR a modular helmet and road boots, and the DR200, a full-face helmet and dual-sport boots. A short ride on any of them, jeans rather than dedicated motorcycle pants. Not that the risk is any less on the scooter than it is on either of the others, it is a risk that I’m willing to assume. So as a retired MSF Instructor/Rider Coach, I urge everyone to go ATGATT…but I don’t practice what I preach!
Russ Locke, Lakehills, Texas
Well, October’s Favorite Ride (“Bay Area Peaks Trifecta”) was a blast from the past! Back in the ‘90s when I worked at Dudley Perkins (a former H-D dealer in San Francisco), we put on this same ride for a few years. I’d set it up, pre-ride it for time, gas and food stops, and arrange for staff to be at the top of the mountains to hand out run pins. The day of the ride we’d have a hundred or more riders from the local HOG chapter (the Fog Hogs), the SFMC and others show up…some ready for a long day’s ride, others unsuspecting. It’s a glorious ride, and I miss it, especially the jump from Mount Diablo out to Livermore and down Mines Road to the backside of Mount Hamilton. Thanks for the memory.
Scott Barber, Bend, Oregon
To Eric Trow: I would like to thank you for your contributions to my enjoyment of riding. As a mostly recreational and weekend rider I am always looking for ways to even the odds. Over the years your tips and suggestions in your articles have contributed to my level of confidence as well as my situational awareness while riding. There is no better example than the September 2018 Stayin’ Safe article about the proper positioning of my mirrors (“Mirror, Mirror, on the Bar”). Why didn’t I think of that? I have incorporated many of your other tips into my riding and feel that you have helped make my experiences safer and more enjoyable. Keep up the great service to your readers and congratulations on your “birthday.”
Luis Rosa, Coventry, Rhode Island
Mark: your editorial (One-Track Mind, September 2018) on perfection being overrated was entertaining, but I’d like to offer a complementary point, please. In the beginning of my motorcycle touring days, I treated the hobby like I do my day-to-day life. Every day planned to the last detail. The route, the sights, the accommodations, everything. Like my everyday life, I figured that information was paramount, and the more planning the better.
Then about seven years ago, I had a revelation. Planning is highly overrated. Basic situational awareness is OK, but there is nothing like finding that uncharted road that leads you to something really special. Touring without a plan brings the adventure to a higher level. Your mind is free to fully enjoy the ride because you aren’t preoccupied with a schedule and the plan. Do it this way a few times and then you realize that you aren’t missing a thing because it’s all good. Every single mile on the motorcycle is good and it really doesn’t matter where you go, what you see or when you get there. It’s all perfect.
So maybe perfection isn’t overrated. Planning is overrated. Motorcycle touring is perfection.
Joey Pons, via email
The September 2018 issue arrived just days before I headed from Missouri to the East Coast for a motorcycle ride. I was planning to ride through part of West Virginia, so when I saw your timely article about a route past Blackwater Falls and Seneca Rocks (Favorite Ride, “West Virginia’s Country Roads”) I knew I had a destination. I stopped at the Front Porch Restaurant and had a tasty meatball sub. The server didn’t know that you had mentioned their restaurant in an article. The place must be popular for motorcyclists and they had several framed motorcycle magazines on the walls. Not to fear, when I got home I sent them my copy of your magazine to hopefully be enshrined on their walls.
Keep up the great work–I use heavy doses of your magazine and Butler maps when planning routes in my continual quest to ride new roads.
Brian Gleason, O’Fallon, Missouri
On the subject of Justin P. Chapman’s wondering about Carson City being the nation’s smallest capital (Response, October 2018), here in Nevada we were always told that Carson City was the smallest. Was it really? I don’t know. It certainly was small population-wise, but like everywhere else it has grown in population over the years. Also, many years back Carson City was in Ormsby County. They did away with Ormsby County in 1969, merging it with Carson City so the city is now the size of the old county. So now it’s probably not the smallest anything.
Ken Shelley, Sparks, Nevada